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February 17, 2015

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China’s US$40b fund to pave Silk Road projects

CHINA has launched a state-backed US$40 billion Silk Road Fund to finance East-West trade and investment under the “Belt and Road” initiative, a statement said yesterday.

The Silk Road Fund Co will provide investment and financing services for projects under the initiative, the company said in a statement posted on the People’s Bank of China website.

The fund will support the “Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road” initiatives China proposed in 2013 with countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.

It will mainly invest in infrastructure, resource development, and industrial and financial cooperation mainly through a long-term equity investment, the statement said.

PBOC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said the Silk Road Fund, jointly funded by China’s foreign exchange reserves, China Investment Corp, the Export-Import Bank of China and China Development Bank, is a market-oriented fund that welcomes investment by a handful of investors, said a China Business News report.

Zhou said the fund would be denominated in foreign cu­rrencies, instead of the yuan.

“China has high savings rate and large foreign exchange reserves, which are not likely to be changed in the near term,” Zhou told CBN.

“Some of the money needs to be invested overseas, and that’s what the Silk Road Fund is tasked to do.”

The company, set up on December 29 in Beijing, has started operating after it held the first board meeting in late January.

Zhou compared the fund with the World Bank’s International Finance Corp, the African Development Bank’s mutual development fund, and the China Africa Development Fund.


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